Lately we have been chatting to some people who are thinking of making a move to this beautiful little island we call home. There were all the usual questions we would expect and a few pertinent ones we think they probably missed but all in all we hoped it was informative and useful for them. They mentioned that they’d read our blog and that has spurred us to write this little piece so that people can have a bit of a peek behind the curtain of island life without the pain of us blathering down the phone at them. So here you go you wanna be islanders, this is what its all about. Feel free to score these attributes as you wish;

Its remote. There is no popping to your venue of choice on a whim unless its a neighbour to borrow something of have a cup of tea and a chat.

The weather is wild. By that we mean its is ultimately changeable and can be nothing short of fantastic or horrendous all on the same day. It dictates a lot of our activities indoors or out.

Its rural. Most roads are single lane with a few street lamps here and there and no road markings. If the track to someones house is anything short of seriously bumpy you haven’t reached their house yet. Cows and sheep abound along with most other farmyard inhabitants and the traditional sprinkling of cats and dogs.

There is a school, a church, a pub, a shop, a post office, a tea room, a visitors centre, an airport, a ferry terminal, a community centre, and a hostel. There’s a doctors surgery and a fire fighting service but no police presence.

The island has plenty of opportunities for work but if you’re looking for a 9 to 5 office job you’re looking in the wrong place.

The people are genuinely friendly and above all polite. For us that’s just brilliant for some it may feel a little strange that everyone waves at you as you drive past. They may have no idea who you are but they will wave to acknowledge you regardless. There is a great social aspect to life here with lots of small gatherings of like minded people sharing time with each other.

Gossip. Stick 150 people on a little island and they will without doubt cast aspersions about one another. Its human nature and its incredibly amusing to some and highly irritating to others. We like to start rumours about ourselves on the basis that our imagination can be far more colourful than anyone else’s. Did we mention that we once ran the most famous brothel in the Dordogne?

Wildlife. Seals and dolphins and whales and birds (we don’t know much about birds) and stuff. There’s loads of it. You can watch it, or shoo it out of your garden but you can’t shoot it or eat it!

Archaeology. Standing stones, cairns, ancient remains and digs. Same rules as the wildlife really and totally inedible.

And finally that all adds up to a whole new way of life for most people. There’s a beautiful simplicity to it and one we wouldn’t swap for anything.

If that all sounds like something you’d like to be a part of its actually easier than you think it might be. Here on Eday we have a gateway house which enables potential new residents to get settled on the island and see if its truly for them without taking the plunge in the housing market. All the details are here if you’d like more information.